Aoife O’Donovan “Drover” – into a wild wild country

Photo: Omar Cruz

The wonderful Aoife O’Donovan, of whom we cannot stop saying nice things, has a deluxe version of the  ‘Apathy Sessionscoming out which has been renamed ‘The Apathy Sessions’ and features, amongst other things, this cover of the Bill Callahan song ‘Drover.‘  “Why?“, you ask.  Well, Aoife O’Donovan is happy to explain: In 2011, Bill Callahan released ‘Apocalypse’, a collection of seven perfectly crafted songs. As a long-time fan of his music, released both under his own name and as SMOG, I was immediately smitten with the record. There was something about the solitude in his voice that gripped me.  I’m an obsessive listener. I once spent the entire 4 hour drive from Boston to New York, listening to ‘One Fine Morning’ on repeat. I bought a ticket to his show at Lincoln Center and went by myself — I didn’t want to sully my experience with any social obligation whatsoever. Pure music.  While holed up in the studio in 2021 after we had just finished mixing ‘Age of Apathy’, I came up with my own arrangement of ‘Drover,’ the lead track on ‘Apocalypse.’ I play every instrument — guitars, keys, bass — and sing all of the vocals. I had so much fun recording this song and hope you enjoy listening to it.”

There’s so much to like about that explanation – clearly, should she ever wish to, Aoife O’Donovan would be a perfect writer for this very site exhibiting, as she does, all the right levels of obsessive dedication.

So, what else can we tell you about Aoife O’Donovan whilst you listen to the song (go on, hit play)?  Well a UK tour is about to begin on which Aoife will be performing her solo version of ‘Nebraska‘ with these dates:

Jan 30 — London, UK @ Kings Place
Jan 31 — Glasgow, UK @ Center For Contemporary Arts
Feb 1 — Glasgow, UK @ Oran Mor
Feb 2 — Leeds, UK @ Left Bank

Oh, and ‘Age of Apathy‘ garnered three Grammy Nominations for – Best Folk Album, Best American Roots Performance & Best American Roots Song.  And, at Folk Alliance International 2023 Aoife O’Donovan is nominated for Artist of the Year and, for ‘B61‘, Song of the Year.  So we’ll be watching closely on 1st February to see how that goes on the opening night of the 35th annual Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas.


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About Jonathan Aird 2185 Articles
Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan's music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That's not much to ask, is it?

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  1. Aoife O’Donovan “I Love You But I’m Lost” – Aoife sings Van Etten – Americana UK

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